Whether it’s a specific dish or a family gathering, Thanksgiving traditions pull people together in a unique way. “I feel like relationships with other people bond really well over food, whether you’re making it or are having it,” said senior Datis Hoghooghi.

Hoghooghi added, “Every year we get most of the family together from Iran and celebrate the Persian dishes that we cook.” Some of these dishes include a Persian lentil soup that’s made with pomegranate sauce and Joojeh kabob, a chicken kabob left in a saffron sauce to marinate. Typically found helping with the cooking, he said, “Thanksgiving is a really good excuse to cook up an entire storm. I really like the aspect of everyone coming together, talking and eating food.”

Junior Natasha Chanel also celebrates Thanksgiving with special dishes. “My mom makes a Mexican dish called tamales once a year on Thanksgiving,” she said. “The hard work pays off when we get to eat it.” Loving the familial connection that Thanksgiving makes, she said, “It’s one day for everyone in my family to come over and enjoy good food that doesn’t get made year-round.”

Senior Mia Banks has a unique tradition of having birthday cake on Thanksgiving. Her birthday, which is November 27th, is “only three or four days away from Thanksgiving, max.” Her family has had this tradition since she was little, taking advantage of a time when the whole family is together. “I like Thanksgiving because everyone’s there wishing me happy birthday face to face, even if they wouldn’t be present on my actual birthday,” she said.

“Seeing my family is definitely my favorite part of Thanksgiving,” said sophomore Corbin Nam. “Every other year on my mother’s side, we go to the East Coast in Maryland, where a lot of my family lives, and play Cornhole in the yard.”

Murphy’s family puzzle.

Students around campus also partake in other traditions, such as playing fun games with family. Sophomore Teagan Murphy solved a puzzle with her family for Thanksgiving. She said, “It was fun for family bonding because everyone was looking through the boxes finding puzzle pieces.” Sophomore Paul Whelan’s family celebrates Thanksgiving by cheering on his mom and uncle in a tennis match. “It’s an ongoing competition,” he says. “They are evenly matched so it’s fun to watch.”

Senior Jennifer Chavez said, “Every year for Thanksgiving, my family watches the Macy’s parade.” Enjoying the time she gets to spend with her family, Chavez said, “We all get up early to watch it as my mom cooks.”

Edmund serving herself at her family’s annual potluck.

Meeting up with her extended family on her mother’s side, sophomore Emiko Edmunds celebrates Thanksgiving with an annual potluck. “I generally cook with my mom,” she said, “and then we all share and eat together with the rest of the family. The type of meat changes from year to year, but it’s rarely turkey. “This year we had prime rib,” she said. “With the whole family coming together, it really feels like home.”

Similarly, along with baking unique dishes, senior Ella Dauskardt has a family tradition of baking any pie other than pumpkin. “It makes Thanksgiving more interesting,” she said. “Every year we make a different one, and this year it was a banana cream pie.”

Celebrating unique traditions, Bears around campus built family connections through food and enjoyed the start of this holiday season over break.

Sidney Loftman is a senior at M-A this year. She is excited to learn more about the process of producing journalism articles, as well as the events that surround her local community. Sidney spends her free time with her friends, at swim practice, and creating art.

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